Three Questions with Historical Fiction Author Jeannie Mobley

November 16, 2021

Jeannie Mobley will be at the Wandering Jellyfish Bookshop's author signing fair from 11-12 on November 27! Jeannie is the author several middle grade and YA novels. Her books have received numerous starred reviews and honors and her latest, The Diamond Keeper, releases today. Get to know her with these fun interview questions, check out her website, and stop by the store to say hi and snag a copy of her books!

1. What got you into writing and what genres inspired you in your early writing career?

 I spent the better part of my childhood in daydreams and make-believe, so setting those daydreams down on paper was a natural step that came along pretty early in life. When I settled into writing in a more serious way, I wrote many genres, but soon discovered that historical fiction was my strength.

2. What was the greatest challenge you dealt with while writing your book and what advice would you give to young writers?

The Diamond Keeper was a unique challenge, because I was writing it during the pandemic, so there were a lot of extra demands and stresses—people in my house who weren’t usually there, a harder than usual day job, and all the other weirdness of the last year.

My advice to young writers would be to practice, practice, practice if they want to write professionally, but also to remember there are many reasons to write, and if writing gives you a creative release and joy, as it does for me when I’m not under deadline in a pandemic, then write for those reasons first. 

3. What purpose do you find in your writing? In other words, why do you write? 

I have always seen the world in stories, and writing gives me a chance to shape the fragments of story I see around me every day into something more. I enjoy the puzzle of formulating plots and I love to play with language. Writing presents a complex range of challenges and pleasures that are fulfilling on many different levels. 


Favorite procrastination snack and/or activity?

Well, since I have a day job, writing is my procrastination activity. I also weave and knit, and occasionally clean house. Cheese and crackers and coffee go well with all those activities.

Would you rather write in a secluded lighthouse or in a cabin in the woods? 

Being a Colorado girl, born and bred, the cabin in the woods is near and dear to me. I would love some time in a secluded lighthouse, but I’d probably spend more time exploring the structure and the coast than actually writing, since it would be new to me.

Book or movie you could read or watch repeatedly?

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (for both reading and watching) and Megan Whalen Turner’s Thief books (the whole series).

Pen, pencil, typewriter, or computer?

I’ve written most of my first drafts in pen, although I’ve gotten away from that lately. I’m feeling the need to get back to some drafting by hand, as it forces me to slow down go deeper inside myself. With the stresses of the pandemic, I could use the therapy.

What’s your favorite One-True-Pairing (favorite fictional romantic relationship)? 

My first thought was strong coffee and Black Forest cake. Then I read the part in parentheses. But I’m still going with my original answer.